A warm welcome to author Rowan Speedwell joining us today on Riptide’s Blog Tour for newest release “Bitterwood”.
Rowan talks to us about castles and architecture and there is also a giveaway to enter!
Welcome Rowan 🙂
Once upon a time, there was a little girl who loved fairy castles. Not just the stories, mind you, but the castles themselves. She grew up to study history with the intent to find out all about those castles.
Along the way, she discovered she didn’t just like castles—she liked everything about historical architecture. Cottages, lodges, townhomes, bridges, prisons, barns, sheepherders’ huts—if it had four walls and a roof, it was interesting. Not just the outsides, either—everything that made the place a place for people. I love history not just for the events, but for the way people lived. It’s endlessly fascinating.
Bitterwood started with a house. A small manor, really, the kind that were built for practical housing in the northern reaches of Europe in the Middle Ages. A step above the peasant homes where the livestock lived with the people, this type of manor at least separated the two, but only by a floor. Downstairs, the animals were safe from predators by thick stone walls, while the heat they generated rose up to keep their owners warm during the coldest part of the winter.
At this point in real history, fireplaces hadn’t been invented yet, but I decided my medieval-type house would have two. Pure luxury, from the medieval standpoint. I imagined my manor set in deepest woods, smoke curling from the fireplaces, welcoming wandering strangers.
Bitterwood Manor existed long before the story of Bitterwood ever came to life. It was a little escape for me, to imagine what it would be like to live in that place, in that time.
My years in the SCA, a living history group, helped me understand the whys and wherefores of living in the Middle Ages—how people survived and thrived in a time without running water, electricity, antibiotics, even the basic understanding of anatomy and medicine; when life was cheap and precious at the same time. Life was hard, but people then still played, still joked around, still had time to fall in love.
Still had time to build homes. Bitterwood Manor is a home. I bid you welcome.
Outrunning a winter storm in the north, Captain Faran of the King’s Guard leads his men and a young mage named Meric to shelter at Bitterwood Manor, the ancestral home of the Daenes. Faran and his troops have been searching for weeks for a mysterious, lion-like beast that reportedly haunts the uncharted northern woods. For Meric, finding that prophesied cat is a matter of life and death.
Though Faran is deeply focused on their mission, the enigmatic Joss Daene, Lord of Bitterwood, fascinates him. Strong and proud, Joss is everything Faran wants in a lover. More, if he were honest. But Joss belongs to Bitterwood, and Faran to his duty.
Together they will need to brave the oldest, darkest part of the Bitterwood in the coldest, deepest snows of winter to find the legendary cat. But time is running out—for Meric, for the kingdom, and for Faran and Joss’s fledgling love.
About Rowan Speedwell
An unrepentant biblioholic, Rowan Speedwell spends half her time pretending to be a law librarian, half her time pretending to be a database manager, half her time pretending to be a fifteenth-century Aragonese noblewoman, half her time . . . wait a minute . . . Hmm. Well, one thing she doesn’t pretend to be is good at math. She is good at pretending, though.
In her copious spare time (hah) she does needlework, calligraphy and illumination, and makes jewelry. She has a master’s degree in history from the University of Chicago, is a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, and lives in a Chicago suburb with the obligatory Writer’s Cat and way too many books.
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To celebrate the release of Bitterwood, one lucky winner will receive a $15 Amazon Gift Card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 24, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!